Where did the idea for Luna Zorro come from?
When my family and I first moved to Antigua in Guatemala nine years ago, I wanted a bedspread for our room. Ideally it would be handwoven and made locally. Although there were so many beautiful textiles in bold colours, I wanted something a little more neutral. After speaking with loads of artisans, one guy asked me exactly what I was looking for. I sketched out a simple design, which he took to his family by Lake Atitlán. A couple of weeks later, they had hand woven exactly what I wanted!
I shared a picture of my son asleep on the bedspread. Within minutes an architect from Panama noticed it. She was redesigning a boutique hotel called Las Clementinas in Panama City and asked for 15 more just like it. The weavers got the order perfectly. Before I shipped them I came up with a business name. Luna Zorro (which translates to Moon Fox in Spanish) is named after my children- Joaquin Fox and Hazel Moon.
A year and a half after starting Luna Zorro we got an order of 1,000 hand woven bath robes from Auberge, for their luxury hotel in Los Cabos. It took 6,000 yards of fabric to complete the order but succeeded. We now create bespoke textiles for 12 different Auberge properties and ship to clients all across the world.
Who are the Guatemalan artisans you partner with at Luna Zorro?
I met a whole community of incredible weavers and artisans in the western highlands of Guatemala and I now work regularly with four big families. Creating Luna Zorro has been an incredible way to bring their products into a luxury market, which I believe is 100% where they belong. Weaving is such an incredible, complex skill that should be honoured and preserved.
What were the biggest challenges you faced along the way?
I had no financial capital starting Luna Zorro, as everything is made to order. It’s a very human-centred product, made by hand without electricity. You have huge orders to fill but you also have to allow for human error or people getting sick. At times it can be hard to manage!
What first drew you to Central America?
I always knew I wanted to travel. I met my husband Juan, who is half Guatemalan, in San Francisco and we moved to Casco Viejo. This historic colonial neighbourhood in Panama City had the dilapidated beauty of Havana. You’d always see families hanging out, reggaeton blasting in the streets, outdoor cafes. Then came an inflow of architects rebuilding, restoring and gentrifying the city.
We always knew that we’d move to Guatemala eventually. While I started my textile design business here, Juan works in sustainable agroforestry. His family has a farm on the Caribbean coast here which has been in the family for generations. It’s a jungle where they once grew papaya and kept water buffalo. Now it’s mainly used to grow endangered tropical hardwood trees like rosewood and mahogany.
Where do you recommend visiting in Antigua?
Finca La Azotea, where my studio is located, is a beautiful working farm with guided coffee tours. There’s also Finca El Pilar, where you can hike and swim in a pool fed by natural spring water. A gallery called La Nueva Fabrica is well worth a visit to see contemporary art installations.
I love the coffee in Guatemala. Artista del Cafe and El Gran Cafe are two favourite spots of mine. The restaurant scene is great too- Nana has excellent cocktails and a vintage clothes store, while Santo Espiritu serves up incredible Italian food in a beautiful modern space.
There are so many more places I always recommend to people, so I created a custom map of Antigua featuring everything I love.
Any new projects on the horizon?
I designed and built a studio as a space for people to come together and honour the craft of weaving. You can meet artisans and learn traditional techniques. We’re based on the outskirts of Antigua, inside a 150 year old coffee farm. We have our own natural dyes garden, cotton plants and a whole greenhouse for growing cochineal and dyeing with indigo.
Recently we opened an outdoor kitchen, with natural wines and incredible food. The restaurant is run by Andrés Descamps and Pablo Diaz, the owner of Mercado 24 in Guatemala City which was voted one of Latin America’s top 100 restaurants.
I’m also working on developing a space for wellness retreats on the other side of Antigua. Groups can rent it out and I’ll offer a curated retreat myself a few times a year.
What do you never travel without?
Handwoven towels from Luna Zorro. They are lightweight, with cool designs and you can roll them up really small. They’re pretty versatile, as a wrap or a blanket for the plane and the ideal beach towel which dries off really quickly.
How do you unwind?
Yoga feels like an old friend. Studying World Arts and Cultures at UCLA in my twenties, I got credits for taking yoga classes. At the time I had no idea my teacher, Shiva Rea, was world famous. I thought it was way too hard at first, but through the years I’ve always come back to yoga to help me slow down and reconnect.
Cooking is also a huge part of my life. I love the decompression of going to the market, selecting fresh ingredients and preparing food each day.
Where’s next on your travel list?
I’m going to India in February for the first time which has always been a dream of mine. Although I’ve explored a lot of Central America, I haven’t been further south to Peru, Colombia or Bolivia so I’d love to explore there too. Often I’m drawn to places with a tradition of textiles and weaving. I have a collection of textiles from across the world handed down to me from my mother, grandmother and great aunt- it’s truly in my blood.
Discover the bespoke textiles of Luna Zorro here.